Cultural Heritage and Forest Fires

picture taken from Kosmas Dimitropoulos , Kovanc Köse, Nikos Grammalidis, and Enis Cetin paper
picture taken from Kosmas Dimitropoulos , Kovanc Köse, Nikos Grammalidis, and Enis Cetin paper

Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing is the art, science, and technology of obtaining reliable information from noncontact imaging and other sensor systems about the Earth and its environment, and other physical objects and processes through recording, measuring, analyzing and representation.

The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, devoted to the development of international cooperation for the advancement of photogrammetry and remote sensing and their applications.

The society has published on its website among other conference proceedings the paper concerning “fire detection, and 3D fire propagation estimation for the protection of cultural heritage areas“.

In the abstract of the paper the Authors (Kosmas Dimitropoulos, Kovanc Köse, Nikos Grammalidis, and Enis Cetin) statesthat  beyond taking precautionary measures to avoid a forest fire, early warning and immediate response to a fire breakout are the only ways to avoid great losses and environmental and cultural heritage damages. To this end, this paper aims to present a computer vision based algorithm for wildfire detection and a 3D fire propagation estimation system. The main detection algorithm is composed of four sub-algorithms detecting:

  • (i) slow moving objects,
  • (ii) smoke-coloured regions,
  • (iii) rising regions,
  • (iv) shadow regions.

After detecting a wildfire, the main focus should be the estimation of its propagation direction and speed. If the model of the vegetation and other important parameters like wind speed, slope, aspect of the ground surface, etc. are known; the propagation of fire can be estimated. This propagation can then be visualized in any 3D-GIS environment that supports KML files.

In the conclusions, the Authors state that “Early warning and immediate response to a fire breakout are the only ways to avoid great losses and environmental and cultural heritage damages. Hence, the most important goals in fire surveillance are quick and reliable detection and localization of the fire. It is much easier to suppress a fire when the starting location is known, and while it is in its early stages. Information about the progress of fire is also highly valuable for managing the fire during all its stages. Based on this information, the fire fighting staff can be guided on target to block the fire before it reaches cultural heritage sites and to suppress it quickly by utilizing the required fire fighting equipment and vehicles.

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